Turkey rejected 1 bln euro migrant aid from EU: Erdogan

Erdogan delivers a speech during the AK Party’s provincial advisory council meeting in Haci Bayram Veli University in Ankara, Turkey on March 02, 2020. (AFP)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday he had rejected an EU offer of an additional one billion euros to help deal with the roughly four million migrants it houses.

“They tell us, ‘we will send you a billion euros.’ Who are you trying to fool? ... We don’t want this money,” Erdogan said at a news conference.

The European Union voiced concern on Monday over the situation at the border with Greece days after Turkey said it had “opened its doors” to refugees and migrants to leave for the European Union.

EU interior ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday, said French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner.

Thousands of migrants are now massed on Turkey’s border with Greece, which is taking draconian steps to prevent people from entering.

Erdogan accused “Greek soldiers” of killing two migrants and seriously injuring a third, without elaborating on the circumstances.

Read more: Syrian refugee died after trying to cross the Turkey-Greece border: Sources

Erdogan also criticized the EU for not “sharing the burden” with Turkey, which is trying to hold off another mass influx from Syria where government forces, backed by Russian air power, are advancing into the extremist-dominated region of Idlib.

Turkey agreed in 2016 to stop refugees leaving for Europe in exchange for six billion euros in assistance, and the EU insists that Turkey must stick to the deal.

On Monday, the Turkish president reiterated an accusation that Ankara had received only a fraction of the promised aid, an allegation European leaders deny.

The decision to open Turkey’s borders with the Europe Union came as Erdogan sought Western support for his military drive against the Syrian government.

SHOW MORE
Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:02 - GMT 07:02
Top